The Toronto Raptors Summer League schedule has officially come to a close, and it offered fans an excellent example of the brand of basketball that new head coach Darko Rajakovic does not want to play. Assistant coach Pat Delaney oversaw perhaps the worst Summer League team in the entire NBA.
The Raptors lost all four of their games, two of which were convincing losses against the Bulls and Cavaliers. Gradey Dick nearly carried them to a win against the Detroit Pistons, but the team ultimately got ice cold from the field and allowed a victory to slip from their hands.
In the grand scheme of things, Summer League does not mean much. 75% of these rosters will not play in the NBA, and half will likely be playing in Europe if they want to further their careers. Is it too much to ask for results with such a substandard collection of players?
Well, the other Summer League teams aren’t exactly playing with the 1996 Bulls on their roster, and Delany has enough experience in the NBA to know how to operate an offense. Even with traditional Summer League selfishness going on, this 0-4 record has to sting.
The Toronto Raptors played very poorly in Summer League competition.
One of the biggest risks Rajakovic took when making his initial staff was hiring someone without any experience as a former head coach in the NBA. Delany and Jama Mahlalela certainly have experience, but the Raptors’ overall collection of assistants is relatively young.
The biggest disappointment from these games, beyond the wins and losses, was the lack of structure. Players were chucking up shots and making all sorts of ill-advised passes. The half-court offense looked nothing like What Rajakovic and Delaney ran in Memphis and Washington.
The only time the Raptors’ Summer League team was actually playing well came when Dick got hot from the field and showed all the talent that made him the No. 13 overall pick. However, such moments were to be expected against a collection of players that were not on the same level. The structure was nonexistent at times.
The Raptors will be much better when Rajakovic and his staff get their hands on NBA players and are allowed to truly cook. However, Delany did not make the best first impression on this fanbase, and they will need to wait until the preseason to change the vibes and put on a better showing.